Why are the unfree regimes of the former Soviet world proving so durable? A lack of ideology and—perhaps surprisingly—a degree of openness are proving to be not so much problems for authoritarianism as bulwarks of it.
The past decade began at a high point for freedom but ended with freedom in peril. Yet the setbacks of the last five years do not outweigh the democratic gains of the last forty.
Chinese authoritarianism has deftly adapted to the Internet Age, employing various forms of technological controls. China’s brand of networked authoritarianism serves as a model for other regimes, such as those of Iran and Russia.
In China, the Internet is not merely contested space between citizen and government. It is also a catalyst for social and political transformation, offering the possibility of better governance with greater citizen participation.
Paradoxically, the rising profile of “liberation technology” may push Internet-control efforts into nontechnological areas—imprisonment rather than censorship, for example—for which there is no easy technical “fix.”
Dilma Rousseff won the 2010 presidential election as the handpicked successor of a towering political personality. Now she must assert firm sway over a ruling party and coalition to which she has remarkably slender ties, and face new challenges that her country cannot meet with “more of the same.”
Wracked by postelection violence in 2007 and 2008, Kenya embarked upon a course of constitutional change that culminated in an August 2010 referendum. How was the new basic law framed and passed, and what will it mean for democracy in this key East African country?
In late 2010, not long before seismic political change was to erupt across the Middle East, Jordan held parliamentary elections. Officials were eager to present these as a fresh start, but a closer look tells a different tale.
- Excerpts from the "Roadmap for a Nation of Rights and the Rule of Law" issued by a group of 13 Egyptian NGOs together as the Forum of Independent Human Rights Organizations.
- Portions of the Polish foreign minister's keynote speech, “Solidarity with Belarus,” given at the International Donors' Conference held in Warsaw, Poland, on February 2.